Founded in 1832 by Auguste Agassiz, the company that would become Longines really came into its own in 1860 when Agassiz’s nephew, Ernest Francillon, took the watch maker’s reigns. Under Francillon, the company moved to a site called Les Longines on the river Suze in 1867, trademarked the name Longines in 1880, and registered the famous winged-hourglass logo in 1889.

Of course, Francillon did more than see to the company’s marketing needs. He also oversaw technological innovations that would make Longines one of the world’s most respected watch makers. One of his first decisions was to introduce anchor escapements into Longines timepieces. Then, in 1888, he presided over Longines’s first certified chronometer.

By 1909, Longines had enough experience with small-caliber movements that it could devote more of its attention to the jewelry watches and wristwatches that would make it famous. Two years later, it introduced a barrel-shaped wristwatch that is considered the precursor of the Longines Evidenza line, which flourished in the 1920s.

As it turns out, the winged-hourglass was a prescient symbol for a company that created numerous timepieces for pilots. In 1919, Longines became the official supplier to the International Aeronautical Federation; in 1925, a Longines accompanied aviator Antonio Locatelli on a flight to the North Pole region; and in 1926, Walter Mittelholzer wore a Longines when he flew from Switzerland to Iran.

But the association really took off, if you will, in 1927, when Charles Lindbergh made his solo flight across the Atlantic. A Longines measurement device at Roosevelt Field in Long Island marked the moment he took off; a similar Longines timepiece at Le Bourget Airfield in Paris where he landed recorded the time of the flight: 33 hours, 30 minutes, 29.8 seconds.

While in the air, Lindbergh had a lot of time to think about a lot of things, including the perfect watch, which he eventually designed for Longines. His Longines Lindbergh Hour Angle, introduced in 1932, used high-frequency quartz regulators to aid in the navigation of transatlantic flights by showing both Greenwich Mean Time and the corresponding hour angle. Needless to say, a Lindbergh Hour Angle from the 1930s is one of the most collectible antique Longines wristwatches available today.

The introduction of a wrist chronograph in 1936 allowed the aviation connection to continue in 1938, when Howard Hughes broke the speed record for a flight around the world. By t...

Calendars, water-resistance, and self-winding mechanisms were added as features to Longines watches during the 1940s. Gold and diamonds became more common as post-war prosperity allowed Longines to go after the luxury market.

And then, in 1954, Longines introduced one of its most enduring sports-lifestyle brands, the Conquest. The handsome Flagship followed in 1957. A vintage Conquest or Flagship from the 1950s is as prized by collectors today as it was by customers in the mid-20th century. Another collectible wristwatch to look from the late 1950s is the Jamboree.

About our sources | Got something to add?

▼ Expand to read the full article ▼

Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

National Watch and Clock Museum

National Watch and Clock Museum

This virtual museum, created by the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors, lets you stroll through tim… [read review or visit site]

Clubs & Associations

Discussion Forums

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Longines 30 Ch Chrono Stainless Steel Men's Watch Working!!!!Vintage 1943 Men's Longines Wwii 17 Jewel Cal. 10l Swiss Watch Runs Longines Flagship 9ct Gold Gents Watch Automatic 17 Jewel Cal 345 Ref 3418 BoxedRare Vintage Longines Mechanical Wind Gents Mens Swiss Watch Wristwatch 21235491Fine Vintage 14k Solid Gold Longines Mens Wrist Watch Mesh BandVintage Longines Conquest Automatic Watch, Gold Cap, 19as,case 9002,running WellLongines Conquest Swiss Made 1970 Men's Automatic Stainless Steel Watch C423Vintage Longines Mystery Dial Watch, Automatic Movement, 10k Gold Filled,runningStuns! Longines- Wittnauer 2002 Perpetual Calendar Gents! 70s.Longines Honour Glory Olympic Games Limited Edition Day-date Chronograph L7.8854Lovely Longines- Wittnauer 2000 Perpetual Calendar Gents Longines Conquest Power Reserve Ref.9026 Gold & Steel Automatic Cal.294Longines Divers Admiral 5 Stars Chronograph Automatic Eta 2892-2Stunning 1956 Tropicalized Sub Dial Longines 12.68z Vintage Retro Mens WatchLongines Chronograph Movement W/ Dial & Hands 30 Ch 30chVintage Longines Ultra-chron Automatic Cross Black & White Dial 34mmVintage Longines Art-deco Mechanical Watch, 18k Solid Pink Gold,sub Second,runs 1970's Gold Capped Longines 17 Jewelled Wrist Watch Cal 284 In Working OrderMen's Longines Quartz Watch. 33mm Silver Dial. Date. Lovely WatchRare Vintage 1960's Men's Longines 10k Gf 5 Star Admiral Wristwatch Serviced Longines Cal. 22as Automatic Watch, Ref. 6058, 1950’s Wadsworth Gold Plaque 80mFine Vintage 14k Gold Wittnauer Longines Men’s Wristwatch WatchVintage Longines All Guard Automatic 9006-2 Gilt Black Cal. 19as Steel WatchVintage C. 1945 Longines Solid 14k Gold Men's Classic Rectangle Watch1957's Longines Kamasutra Theme 18k Solid Rose Gold Manual Wind Mens Watch $1 NrVintage Longines 5561-8 Oversized 37mm Steel Cal. 27m Wristwatch 1950'sLovely Longines- Wittnauer 2002 Perpetual Calendar Gents Swiss Made Large Men's Chronograph C 2010 Stainless Steel Watch C405Vintage 1970's Longines Automatic Watch [admiral] Sr.17052599Longines Heritage 1940 Automatic Men’s Watch ~ Ref. L2.767.4.53.21970s Longines Conquest Cal 6952 Manual Winding White Dial Date Men's WatchVintage Longines 6333-3 Oversized 37mm Steel Cal. 12.68z Wristwatch 1950'sAntique Silver Cased Longines Gents Wristwatch Hm1928 Good Wearable Condition NrVintage Longines Automatic 10k G.f. Case Expandable Band Men's WatchRare Vintage 1947 Mens Longines 10k Gold Filled 17 Jewel " Buckle " WatchLongines Les Grande Men's Watch Original Two Tone Swiss Made Pressence No ResrveStuns!longines-wittnauer St.moritz Gents Watch.fab Case& Dial Box/tag/papers'80s1980s Longines Wittnauer Automatic 17j Men's Cal 11sr Running Longines 18k GoldLongines Grand Prize Automatic 14k Yellow Gold1959 Longines Grand Assymetrical Classic Watch Mechanical Movement Caliber 23 NrHandsome Vintage 14k Gold And Diamond Longines Mens Watch Dated 1967Longines Quartz Date Men's Watch Gold Plated Gold Dial Leather Band L4.636.2Vintage 1950's / 60's Longines Gents Automatic Wristwatch Exc Condition 10k GfLongines Stainless Steel Mid-size Swiss Quartz Watch L4.720.4 Leather StrapLongines Conquest Black Dial Men's Watch L3.660.41960 Longines 61 6 5307129 Black Dial Stainless Steel Case Original Bukle Wow!!!1962 Men's Longines Grand Prize Automatic With Date Minty ConditionMen's Longines Admiral Automatic Mechanical Wristwatch, Date Indicator, Gf, RunsMens Elegant Style Vintage Gold Watch 1906 Of Longines Factory Fully 17 JewelsLongines Divers Admiral 5 Stars 7404 Gold & Steel L 636.5 Automatic Eta 2836-2Vintage Big Longines Ultronic Men Watch Gold Plated Date Indication Cal. 63121940s Longines Military Vintage WatchVintage Longines Lyre Classique L994.1 25j Automatic Gold Electroplated 32mmVintage 1952 Men's Longines Automatic 17j Swiss G/f Watch Honeycomb Dial 4 Rep.Gold Skeleton! Mens / Ladies Of Longines, Vintage Beautiful Watch From 1928Vint Longines Scuba Dual Crown Conquest Automatic Cal431 Noreserveprice@Vintage Longines Solid 14k Yellow Gold / Diamonds Ladies Wristwatch With CaseVtg 40s Men's Gold Longines Automatic Watch Parts Repair + Hamilton CaseLongines Dolce Vita Ladies Quartz Stainless Steel Watch Ref L5.502.4.16.6